There are a lot of different issues that could result in New York medical malpractice, such as surgical errors, nursing home negligence, improperly prescribed medications, and other types of medical negligence. But one lesser known type of New York medical malpractice is informed consent. This is a type of negligent and statutorily prohibited in the Public Health Law.
Informed consent is what a medical provider is supposed to give to a patient. This means explaining what the procedure is and how it will affect a person’s health in the present, future, and foreseeable future. This includes discussing the benefits of the surgery, such as how it will help heal the patient’s present condition or disease causing pain and/or discomfortable. Again, this includes the present, future, and foreseeable future. Informed consent also involves explaining the risks of surgery, from basic issues such as infection, to more complicated risks like nerve injuries. This discussion needs to include every possible risk that is foreseeable, from bad scarring and bleeding, to rare infections, to even the risk of death. As part of the informed consent process, the provided must also any questions the patient has.
Where informed consent becomes an issue is where the surgeon and patient agree to a certain type of procedure, an incision site, or a similar type of choice between the patient and surgeon. For example, if a patient is going to have back surgery and agrees to have the incision over her back/spine, if the surgeon changes the incision site to the side or lateral approach, that can be medical malpractice due to a lack of informed consent.This is because a lateral approach will have different benefits and risks than a posterior (spine) approach because there are different muscles, organ, nerves, and even bones (the ribs) present on the side and not on the back. it could also be the choice of the patient to not undergo a side surgery which would leave a scar on the side, which may make the patient self-conscious about the scar as opposed to being more hidden in the back on the spine.
Lack of informed consent can result in a very serious incidence of medical malpractice and should not be taken lightly. This claim will usually be a part of a medical malpractice lawsuit and may be pursued stronger or discontinued as the facts of the case develop.
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